While scrolling through the Instasphere I came across this hilarious article by Bike Snob. In short, there’s something to be said for short rides. In long, long rides take too long. Embarking on “epic” multi-hour rides take away from other parts of life on which we should apply time, like relationships, work, yadda yadda etcetera. He’s got something there.
Take running for comparison. It’s a pretty time-efficient workout. For a run (or a slew of other sports for that matter), you throw on 5 items (shirt, bottom, socks, shoes, sport bra) and in
25 minutes you’re panting for breath and have burned hundreds of calories. In cycling, you have to dress in the above list plus a helmet, glasses (granted this piece may be non-negotiable for your runs, but I rarely wear them), and gloves. Plus extra apparel should weather turn bad, i.e. rain jackets and booties, which you have to meticulously roll or fold to fit into a tiny jersey pocket. Then, above and beyond before the first pedal stroke you fill water bottles, pump tires, de-grease and lube chains, and whatnot other time sucking tasks. Your lunch break just got shortened by 10 minutes just fixing to ride.
Here’s where the attitude pivots. A teammate, Rhonda, said something that stuck to me last summer; “A 20 minute workout is better than no workout at all.” Mind blowing, no? I’ve been trying to change my mindset that I need at least an hour and a half window to make a ride worthwhile. So this summer I’ve made an effort to fit rides into neat and tidy timeslots. While I’ve waited for my kids to stop kicking soccer balls around at practices I’ve ridden Olde Stage to back of Lee Hill and hunted #groad near the Boulder Reservoir. From home I’ve sessioned NCAR, made a quick jaunt down Cherryvale to Eldorado Springs, and goofed around Valmont Bike Park. Running errands? It counts on Strava. All these excursions only took about an hour and I felt much happier than not going at all.
Don’t get me wrong, some of my 2017 favorite rides have been more than 3 hours long and “epic” in the sense of elevation gain, scenery, and effort. There is something to be said of the peck on the cheek versus the passionate make-out. Both mean something. One is simply the precursor to the other, not diminutive of it.
Get out there and ride. Skip the degreaser and lube once in a while in order to make it happen. Stop writing long blogs. I’m going right now, and no stinking time constraint will stop me ;-}